Complex Systems

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M. V. Simkin

V. P. Roychowdhury
Department of Electrical Engineering,
University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1594

Abstract

We report a method for estimating what percentage of people who cited a paper had actually read it. The method is based on a stochastic modeling of the citation process that explains empirical studies of misprint distributions in citations (which we show follows a Zipf law). Our estimate is that only about 20% of citers read the original.